QuickBooks, meet SugarCRM. SugarCRM, this is QuickBooks.
In an effort to promote a little interapplication friendliness between SugarCRM's open-source CRM offering and Intuit's popular accounting software (among other applications), open-source data integration company SnapLogic today unveiled the SugarCRM Solution Pack, which will be available starting the week of August 11 as a free download for existing users of SnapLogic Community Edition 2.0 and Professional Edition 2.0.
The SnapLogic founders -- three former Informatica executives -- claim to have a strong understanding of the importance of data integration. They began SnapLogic two years ago with the idea that open-source applications would have a tremendous impact on the software industry. Keeping the open-source model close to its collective heart and seeing the need for integration behind the firewall, SnapLogic began providing enterprises with mashups and rich Internet applications -- and now the company is dipping a toe into open-source CRM with its release of an integration pack for SugarCRM.
SnapLogic's SugarCRM Solution Pack promises to ease integration of the open-source CRM software -- in both its on-premises and on-demand varieties -- with Web sites, other software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, behind-the-firewall enterprise software, and other data. "We found a great number of people using software wanted to integrate their hosted applications like Salesforce.com with behind-the-firewall apps like QuickBooks," says Chris Marino, chief executive officer of San Mateo, Calif.-based SnapLogic.
Marino says that SnapLogic is focusing on CRM going forward because of the industry's emphasis on hosted apps and SaaS. The company, he adds, will be looking to create similar solution packs with other CRM vendors in the near future* [see update, below], but that the company chose to make SugarCRM the core of its first CRM solution pack because the open-source CRM vendor shares SnapLogic's views about how users want to deploy and access software. "SugarCRM is very supportive and we work closely with them," Marino says. SnapLogic also joined SugarCRM's SugarExchange program, which is a marketplace of applications and extensions for SugarCRM built by the Sugar community.
The Solution Pack capabilities include:
Marino says that SnapLogic sees integration as one of the biggest challenges in adopting a hosted model. "SugarCRM is only one end of the wire; the other end is QuickBooks and [other back-office business applications]. SugarCRM doesn't do anything to simplify that end of the wire, but SnapLogic does."
- integrating SugarCRM account records with on-premises accounting systems and other business applications;
- transferring customer records from internal CRM systems to SugarCRM On Demand; and
- creating custom data feeds that enable users to import SugarCRM data into desktop applications, such as Microsoft Excel.
Tim Hickernell, senior research analyst with Info-Tech Research Group, says that he has been observing many examples of the desire to unify applications. "While SaaS is a disruptive trend, it is not destined to replace traditional application delivery," he says. "Rather, application delivery is evolving towards hybrid-delivery architectures -- blending on-demand, hosted, and on-premises application delivery. This announcement further illustrates this trend since SnapLogic will support both SugarCRM on demand and traditional on-premises implementations, to agnostically blend application services into a larger network-centric application cloud."
* [Update, 8/5/08: Keeping true to its promise of creating solution packs for other CRM solution providers, SnapLogic this week announced its Salesforce.com Solution Pack -- a mere week after unveiling the SugarCRM Solution Pack. The Salesforce.com product enables rapid and easy integration of Salesforce.com with other SaaS applications as well as applications behind the firewall. According to SnapLogic, users can integrate Salesforce.com account records with in-house accounting systems, migrating customer records from internal CRM systems to Salesforce.com. Additionally, the solution pack allows for the creation of custom data feeds to import Salesforce.com data into enterprise portals, wikis, and desktop applications. SnapLogic's solution pack for Salesforce.com will be available as a free download beginning Aug. 18.]
News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. To contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.